Re: Edo Politics and the perennial pretenders

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I READ with interest an article with the above title written by one Nosakhare Osahon. A proper dissection of the write-up reveals many illogicalities and shallowness. For one, his attack on Ken Imasuangbon, a fellow APC stalwart who has deployed the richness of his resources and goodwill to promote the APC both at national and state levels, shows that Osahon is obviously working for some forces within the party who are uncomfortable with Imasuagbon’s rising profile.

He apparently has an issue with the fact that Imasuangbon’s business is located outside Edo State, alluding therefore to the fact that Imasuangbon cannot claim to love Edo people on account of this. Pray, how many APC leaders in the state from the Comrade Governor to other leaders of the party and government have any known or viable business located in Edo State? Indeed how many of them have any visible business in the first place? Comrade Oshiomhole prior to his foray into politics of Edo State did not live in Edo State and does not own any property in the state.
Whilst he was campaigning for the office of Governor, it is a well known fact that he lived as a tenant in a house behind Benoni hospital. But today, the story is different. Today he owns a ‘palace’ in Iyamho. Mr. Osahon also has an issue with the rice distribution philanthropy of Mr. Imasuangbon whereas he does not own a rice farm. Pray, which rice farm or agricultural products outfit does any of the APC chieftains own? And for that matter, what is the agricultural policy of the present Edo State Government? Are there any rice, cassava or produce farms? If Imasuangbon has to import rice from outside Edo State to give to Edo indigenes, it should be food for deep thought and indeed something of an embarrassment to the state government.
If Osahon and his paymasters can be excused for calling Ken Imasuangbon a pretender for whatever other reasons known to them, by what stretch of the imagination does Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu qualify to be called a pretender. It is obvious that these are individuals who have lost touch with reality, people who relish in standing history on its head. For, every student of history will recall that it was this same Pastor Ize-Iyamu and some of his friends who introduced Oshiomhole to the electorate in 2007 and against the formidable political machine of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, both at federal and state levels. Oshiomhole won with the help of this Pastor.
Thereafter, he became the Vice Chairman, South-South of the ACN and played a key role in the merger of the parties that became APC. When Oshiomhole sought re-election in 2012, it was Pastor Ize-Iyamu whom he sought refuge from and promptly named Director-General of his campaign and for the first time in the political history of Edo State, a candidate won in 18 of the 18 local government areas due majorly to the dexterity and ingenuity of Pastor Osagie. Can anybody in his right senses therefore refer to such a person as a push over or a pretender? Hardly so.
For it is common knowledge right now that amongst all the formidable PDP aspirants, Pastor Ize-Iyamu stands tall both in height and reputation and indeed he is the one to beat. This is a well known fact and is obvious that this was what warranted Osahon’s hatchet job. Every Edo indigene knowledgable in the political terrain knows that Oshiomhole catches cold at the mention of Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s name knowing very well that this is the man who will demystify him and show him to the world for who he really is. Ize-Iyamu parades a robust pedigree, coming from a well known and acclaimed traditional family. He has lived all his life in Benin, his businesses which include a farm that employs hundreds of Edo indigenes, are all located in Edo state.
He has at various times been the Personal Assistant to the Chairman of former Oredo Local Government Council, Chief of Staff to the Governor and Secretary to the State Government. Lately, he was appointed Director General of Goodluck Jonathan Campaign in Edo State. Ize-Iyamu has never contested any election (though he has assisted anyone he supported to win election) so how does he qualify to be referred to as a perennial pretender? This can only come from the figment of imagination of the writer.
Permit me to submit that come September 10th 2016, (by INEC timetable) the people of Edo state will troop out massively to vote out the true perennial pretenders (the APC and their candidate) and by the grace of God and the will of the people vote in one of these gentlemen who have been errorneously described as perennial pretenders as the next governor of Edo State.
Mr. Emmerson Igbinadolor, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.
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